Box Office: 'Suicide Squad' Snubs Naysayers, Eyes $145M-$150M Weekend
The critically reviled movie earns a B+ CinemaScore from audiences, which is somewhat better than the "B" awarded 'Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice'; 'Suicide Squad' also is impressing overseas, grossing $64.6 million in its first three days.
Suicide Squad rocked the Friday box office, grossing $65.1 million for a projected $145 million-$150 million weekend, the top opening of all time for an August release and ending days of angst for Warner Bros. in the wake of withering reviews.
The David Ayer-directed supervillain film also is impressing abroad, where it has amassed $64.6 million in its first three days. And, as in North America, the $175 million tentpole is pacing ahead of the openings of Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie is opening in a total of 57 markets this weekend; Friday's take was $33 million, including $6.2 million in the U.K. and $3.9 million in Mexico.
However, the movie's ultimate playability is still in question after receiving a B+ CinemaScore from North American audiences. While it's better than the B awarded to fellow DC Extended Universe title Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice earlier this year, a superhero movie can have much better legs when receiving some variation of an A score. Suicide Squad cost $175 million to produce.
The biggest surprise in terms of audience makeup was the strong turnout among females, who made up 46 percent of Friday's audience, according to exit poling service CinemaScore. That's unusual for a superhero film. Warners also succeeded in luring younger moviegoers: 28 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 18. Both females and those younger moviegoers liked the pic better, giving it an A- and A, respectively.
Friday's haul includes a huge $20.5 million in Thursday-night previews. Imax locations took in a hearty $2.4 million, or 12 percent.
Suicide Squad will wrest the August crown from Marvel and Disney's likewise offbeat superhero film, Guardians of the Galaxy, which debuted to a surprise $94.3 million in 2014.
The big question heading into the weekend was whether the latest film in Warner Bros.' growing DC Extended Universe can beat another irreverent superhero offering: Fox and Marvel's Deadpool, which opened to a stunning $134.2 million in February, a record for an R-rated film. The answer appears to be yes.
That's no small feat. Suicide Squad — boasting a friendlier PG-13 rating — has been savaged by critics and currently suffers a 26 percent rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That's one point behind the 27 percent rating for Batman v. Superman.
Ayer's film follows a group of dangerous comic book villains — played by Will Smith (Deadshot), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), Jay Hernandez (El Diablo) and Cara Delevingne (Enchantress) — who are recruited to fight off a deadly threat. Jared Leto also stars as Joker, while Joel Kinnaman and Viola Davis round out the cast.
The weekend's other new nationwide offering is EuropaCorp and director Barry Sonnenfeld's Nine Lives, a family-friendly film starring Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey as a neglectful dad turned into a cat. Jennifer Garner co-stars in the movie, which also has been ravaged by critics and likewise earned a B+ CinemaScore.
According to first returns, Nine Lives' claws aren't so sharp and it may only open in the $6 million-$7 million range for a sixth-place finish.
Among holdovers, Universal's Jason Bourne is falling to No. 2 in its second weekend with a projected take of $23 million, a 61 percent drop and putting the Matt Damon film's domestic total at nearly $140 million.
STX's female-skewing comedy Bad Moms is looking at a relatively slim drop of 43 percent in its second outing. The R-rated film, holding at No. 3, is expected to take in about $13.5 million for a domestic total of $50 million-plus.
Illumination Entertainment and Universal's The Secret Life of Pets and Paramount's Star Trek Beyond will round out the top five with an estimated $11.1 million and $9.6 million, respectively.